Recipe by Chef

Sweet and Sour Mallard Breast

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Meat Meat
Easy Easy
2 Servings


- Soy
1 Hour

This recipe is a take on one of my favorite Chinese dishes, sweet and sour duck. A rich, gamey meat, duck is great to serve at special occasions. This recipe by no means resembles that of a standard Chinese take-away. The dry rub is a spice blend which is used to add seasoning, spice and a floral aroma. The glaze is a beautifully sticky coating that adds the lovely sweet and sour flavor. Even though it is not a typical Indian dish, this modern take uses tamarind paste and palm sugar/jaggery, which are used in everyday Indian cookery.



  • 2 duck breasts

Dry Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli/hot red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced or 2 cubes Gefen Frozen Garlic

  • a 1-and-1/2-centimeter/1/2-inch piece of fresh root ginger, finely diced

  • 3 tablespoons Glicks Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli/hot red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar/jaggery

  • 6 tablespoons tamarind paste

To Serve



Mix all the dry rub ingredients together. Coat the duck breasts with it and allow to marinate at room temperature for 15–30 minutes. (This recipe does not require a long marinating time.)


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit) Gas 5. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.


Next, make the glaze. Heat the oil in a pan over low heat, add the garlic and ginger and fry until lightly browned and no longer raw. Add the soy sauce, 50 milliliters/three and a half tablespoons of water and the dried chilli/hot red pepper flakes. Gently simmer for four to five minutes.


Stir in the palm sugar/jaggery and tamarind paste and allow to simmer gently for four to five minutes over low heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.


Lay the duck breasts skin-side down in a separate cold pan (this will render the fat out more efficiently than a hot pan, which will lock in all of the fatty juices). Gradually turn the heat up and cook the breasts for three minutes. Flip over and seal the raw side to lock in all the juices. (90 per cent of the pan-cooking must be done skin-side down.)


Transfer the duck breasts to the preheated baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for six minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the breasts to rest on the hot sheet for four minutes. Slice the breasts, drizzle the glaze over the top and serve with Masala Roasted Potatoes and green/French beans.


From My Indian Kitchen: Traditional & Modern Recipes for Delicious Home-Cooked Food by Nitisha Patel, Ryland Peters & Small.  

Photography Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small 2017, 2024.  

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Sweet and Sour Mallard Breast

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